Mesa family mourns 3-year-old drowning victim

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by Marie Saavedra

azfamily.com

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Updated Monday, May 28 at 5:41 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- In his grandmother's cell phone video, 3-year-old Keith Mendez is the happiest kid on the block, playing in the pool, surrounded by family. 

Now that pool is empty and only serves as a reminder of what went horribly wrong.

"I can't go in the room that I slept with him in or outside," said Mendez's grandmother, Susan Estes.

She left her home in the care of the little boy's mother on Saturday.

That afternoon, according to Estes, Mendez's mom and a friend stepped away from where he played with rocks near the pool.

"I got a text message from the baby's mother that said 911 five times across. Baby Keith drowned in pool. At the hospital trying to save him. Help me," she said. "I was hoping it wasn't real."

Mendez was pronounced dead at the hospital; his mother at his side.

"She can't sleep because she just sees him in the pool and her whole life was nothing but him," said Estes.

She and her family felt they knew the dangers, but she still can't believe she's on this side of the story.

"Somebody just needs to always have the responsibility of watching," Estes said.

It's heartfelt advice from a woman who now has to try and make peace in the home where her grandson died.

"He was the most perfect cutest little boy And knowing you're never going to see it again...it's hard," she said.  

Also this weekend, just a few miles away, another 3-year-old boy has to pulled from a swimming pool. That boy survived.

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